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“When can I open my shop again?” It’s the one question that has been on the lips of non-essential retail business owners since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.
Yesterday’s government announcements took a step towards giving us an answer. However, because the media were so focused on Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham, the vital information for retail businesses got bumped down the news agenda.
So, in case you missed it, we’ve summarised the changes in this blog post – hopefully giving you more clarity about when you can re-open your shop.
When can I open my shop again?
1. Outdoor markets and car showrooms
Both car showrooms and outdoor markets can re-open from 1st June (this coming Monday). These settings will open first because the transmission rate for the coronavirus is lower outside.
Special rules on Health and Safety and social distancing will apply. Read on to find out more about new guidance.
2. Non-essential retail businesses
Non-essential retail businesses can open their doors again on 15th June. This date is ‘contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus’. They will have to demonstrate that they are ‘COVID-19 Secure’ before re-opening.
Businesses allowed to open include shops selling clothes, toys, books, furniture, electronics, antiques and more. Photography studios and indoor markets will also be allowed to start trading again.
However, please note that pubs, cafés, hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons and similar businesses will not be allowed to open on 15th June. This is because these venues make extended periods of person-to-person contact unavoidable.
The rules for re-opening your shop
The government has published detailed guidance for shops, designed to help them make working conditions safe. The full document is available here.
You can also download a poster to display at your premises, confirming that you have taken five key steps to make your premises COVID-19 Secure. These state that you have:
- Carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and shared the results with the people who work here
- Cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
- Taken all reasonable steps to help people work from home
- Taken all reasonable steps to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
- Done everything practical to manage transmission risk where people can’t be 2m apart.
Preparing to open your shop again
If you are allowed to open your shop again in June, you need to start getting prepared as soon as possible. The Guardian reports that businesses will only be able to re-open once they had completed the risk assessment in consultation with workers or trade union representatives. Local councils will be able to conduct spot checks and follow up on reported concerns.
We strongly advise that you read the guidance in full as you prepare to re-open your shop. Also, learn from the essential retail businesses that have remained open during the pandemic. Much work has been done on opening safely, so don’t re-invent the wheel. If your staff or the public are not properly protected, you can face fines and jail sentences of up to two years. It will be a relief to be able to trade again, but please do it as safely as possible!
About Jon Pryse-Jones
Since joining THP in 1978, Jon Pryse-Jones has been hands on with every area of the business. Now specialising in strategy, business planning, and marketing, Jon remains at the forefront of the growth and development at THP.
An ideas man, Jon enjoys getting the most out of all situations, “I act as a catalyst for creative people and encourage them to think outside the box,” he says, “and I’m not afraid of being confrontational. It often leads to a better result for THP and its clients.”
Jon’s appreciation for THP extends to his fellow team members and the board. “They really know how to run a successful business,” he says. He’s keen on IT and systems development as critical to success, and he continues to guide THP to be at the cutting edge and effective.